Category: Safety & Health Initiative

MCAA & M&SCA of Eastern Pennsylvania Present Asbestos Awareness – Part 1 (Legal Issues Webinar) December 11 at 12:00 EST

The recent influx of demolition and renovation on 40 plus year-old buildings around the country generates the need for our industry to revisit the construction health issues associated with asbestos exposure. In Part 1 of this multi-part webinar series, attorney Adele Abrams will address OSHA, EPA, and contractor liability as it relates to asbestos on jobsites. The webinar includes a one-hour presentation followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. Register now and join us on Friday, December 11, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST.

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Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention in Construction Webinar on December 9 at 12:00 p.m. EST

MCAA and the Allied Trades Assistance Program are partnering to present this webinar addressing mental health issues in the construction industry, such as opioid addiction, suicide, depression, and anxiety. The webinar will highlight how work-related stress and anxiety have overtaken musculoskeletal disorders as the most reported workplace health issue. Mental health issues in construction can be just as dangerous as the industry’s physical hazards. And, according to the CDC, the construction industry is one of the most at-risk industries for suicides. Come join us to learn how to improve outreach, provide support, and remove the stigma associated with mental health issues to help your workers navigate this new hazard. The free webinar will be presented on December 9, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST.

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The Next Qualified Level Arc Flash Safety Training Webinars Scheduled for December 17, 2020

Make sure your service techs have the up-to-date safety training they need to protect themselves from arc flash and electrical shock hazards while working on equipment pushing 480 volts or less. The session covers all applicable OSHA requirements, NFPA 70E provisions, best practices, and real-world accident information.

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The next two webinars will be presented on December 17, 2020. The first webinar will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. EST, and the second is from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST.

REGISTER TODAY

Take advantage of the MCAA/MSCA member discounted webinar prices below.

PRICING:

# of Trainees (per company)Cost (per person)
1-5$200/person
6-10$175/person
11-25$150/person
26-50$125/person
51-100$ 100/person
101+Email for Pricing

If you can’t make it in December, the webinar will be taught again twice in January. Please watch the website for dates and times. Questions? Contact Pete Chaney.

Climatemp Service Group, LLC Recognized for Safety Excellence

MCAA and CNA are pleased to announce that Climatemp Service Group, LLC earned the association’s top safety award for 2019 in Size Category 1, Zero – 100,000 work hours. Climatemp Service Group’s successful software-based “Safety Awareness” program set the company apart.

The program empowers all field personnel to take pictures and/or video clips at the jobsites using a new software program. The company’s workers have been trained and encouraged to document both safe and unsafe work practices and conditions. The images and video clips are then shared with the entire company to recognize safety excellence and help prevent recurrence of unsafe acts and conditions.

Anyone who submits a report with pictures and/or video clips related to safety is eligible for a safety award. All the submissions are collected and judged, and the award is presented monthly as part of the company’s required safety training sessions. Before the winner is announced, all images and video clips are shared and discussed with the workers as part of the safety training practice.

The MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards Program began in the 1990s when MCAA partnered with CNA Insurance. It is a fiercely competitive program in which only the best of the best compete for the awards.

Participants are required to describe their safety programs in detail, including how they achieved safety excellence and why they believe they deserve the award. The Safety Awards Selection Taskforce, which is led by CNA, carefully evaluates each submission looking for safety leadership, an advanced safety culture, effective leading indicators of safety performance, and innovative safety initiatives that helped the company achieve an exceptionally high degree of safety excellence.

MCAA and CNA congratulate Climatemp Service Group, LLC for earning such a high degree of safety excellence in 2019.

OSHA Provides New COVID-19 Guidance Regarding Workplace Ventilation

OSHA recently issued new guidance on how to use workplace ventilation systems to reduce exposures to the coronavirus, including efficiency targets for air filters and recommendations for fan use. The guidance calls for employers to install HVAC filters with minimum efficiency reporting value ratings of “13 or higher, where feasible,” and to “consider using” high-efficiency particulate air fan and filtration systems, “especially in higher-risk areas.”

It also urges several stems to increase the flow of outdoor air into indoor areas, including increasing HVAC systems’ outdoor air intake; taking steps to verify that exhaust air is not being pulled back into a building, such as by traveling through open windows or nearby intakes; ensuring exhaust fans in restrooms specifically are “fully functional, operating at maximum capacity, and are set to remain on”; and opening windows and “other sources of fresh air” when possible.

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CNA Shares Risk Control e-Talks on Business Resiliency

MCAA member CNA, MCAA’s long-time partner in workplace safety, loss control, and risk control, is sharing its Risk Control e-Talks series on Business Resiliency with MCAA members. The series addresses how natural and manmade catastrophes, pandemics, and civil unrest create uncertainty, complexity, and challenges that unfold in real time. The talks provide tips and resources that will help your business thrive during these environments.

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Register Now for MCAA’s 18th Annual Safety Directors’ Conference on January 19 and 20, 2021

Explore our industry’s most important safety subjects and issues at MCAA’s 18th Annual Safety Directors’ Conference. The conference will be presented online on January 19, and 20, 2021. The program features three keynote presentations from renown world-wide disaster response physician Dr. Dan Diamond, space shuttle astronaut Mike Mullane, and safety communications expert Dale Lesinski. The ten topic-specific breakout sessions include subjects such as NFPA70E-2021, opioids & reasonable suspicion, ANSI A92 (Aerial Platform) standards, legionella, microlearning, safety culture change, and much more. MCAA thanks CNA and Milwaukee Tool for sponsoring the conference.

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The Next Qualified Level Arc Flash Safety Training Webinars Are Scheduled for November 19, 2020

Make sure your service techs have the up-to-date safety training they need to protect themselves from arc flash and electrical shock hazards while working on equipment pushing 480 volts or less. The session covers all applicable OSHA requirements, NFPA 70E provisions, best practices, and real-world accident information.

VIEW BROCHURE

The next two webinars will be presented on November 19, 2020. The first webinar will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. EST, and the second is from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST.

REGISTER TODAY

Take advantage of the MCAA/MSCA member discounted webinar prices below.

PRICING:

# of Trainees (per company)Cost (per person)
1-5$200/person
6-10$175/person
11-25$150/person
26-50$125/person
51-100$ 100/person
101+Email for Pricing

If you can’t make it in November, the webinar will be taught again twice on December 17, 2020. Questions? Contact Pete Chaney.

Postler & Jaeckle Corporation Recognized for Safety Excellence

MCAA and CNA are pleased to announce that Postler & Jaeckle Corporation earned the association’s top safety award for 2019 in Size Category 4, 450,001 – 1 Million Work Hours. Postler & Jaeckle’s successful Service Specific Safety Committee set the company apart.

Recognizing that its long-standing safety committee could not adequately address both construction and service safety issues, Postler & Jaeckle established a service specific committee to fully understand and address service-specific safety issues. The new committee expands employee ownership of the safety program, with representatives from each service group location attending quarterly committee meetings. These meetings allow the group to collaboratively determine the most urgent service safety issues, prioritize them, and establish effective plans to address them. The initiative has been very successful and continues to help protect mechanical service technicians from workplace hazards.

The MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards Program began in the 1990s when MCAA partnered with CNA Insurance. It is a fiercely competitive program in which only the best of the best compete for the awards.

Participants are required to describe their safety programs in detail, including how they achieved safety excellence and why they believe they deserve the award. The Safety Awards Selection Taskforce, which is led by CNA, carefully evaluates each submission looking for safety leadership, an advanced safety culture, effective leading indicators of safety performance, and innovative safety initiatives that helped the company achieve an exceptionally high degree of safety excellence.

MCAA and CNA congratulate Postler & Jaeckle Corporation for earning such a high degree of safety excellence in 2019.

MCAA and the UA Led Development of Industry Consensus Standard on Pressure Testing Safety

MCAA, in conjunction with the UA, recently led the development of a new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) industry consensus standard on pressure testing safety. The new standard, ANSI/ASSP A10.35 Safety Requirements for Pressure Testing Steel and Copper Piping Systems, was published on October 16, 2020. The voluntary industry consensus standard is based largely on the MCAA Guide to Steel and Copper Piping System Pressure Testing Safety. The standard’s safety requirements address planning, procedures, checklists, and other items for both hydrostatic and pneumatic pressure testing on steel and copper piping systems.

New Research Shows that Airborne Transmission of COVID-19 Can Occur When Conditions are Right

The CDC recently reported that airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur in rare cases under just the right circumstances. In most cases, the virus is transmitted from one person to another in droplet form, and occurs when affected individuals are less than six feet away from the source for 15 minutes or more. That’s because the “droplets” are heavy enough to fall to the ground, and do not stay suspended in air. However, new research indicates that when exposure occurs in enclosed spaces, exposure time is greater than 30 minutes, and some kind of expiratory exertion is taking place, such as shouting, singing, or exercising, the virus can be transmitted in aerosol form (smaller particles suspended in air). Social distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, surface cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, and avoidance of crowded indoor spaces are effective protective measures for both forms of transmission. However, adequate ventilation and avoidance of crowded indoor spaces are especially important when work is being performed in enclosed spaces where circumstances can increase the concentration of suspended small particles carrying the infectious virus. If you believe your workers could be exposed to airborne transmission of the virus, MCAA recommends that you revise your COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan to ensure adequate ventilation and avoidance of crowded indoor spaces in affected work areas.

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P1 Group, Inc. Recognized for Safety Excellence

MCAA and CNA are pleased to announce that P1 Group, Inc. earned the association’s top safety award for 2019 in Size Category 5, More Than 1 Million Work Hours. P1’s successful “Why Not Zero” campaign set the company apart.

P1 presented employees with a single small goal: going accident free as a company one day at a time. Each morning started with the same small goal presented during a Daily Safety Checklist. The goal was further reinforced in safety training sessions and on employee T-shirts with the Why Not Zero logo.

The MCAA/CNA Safety Excellence Awards Program began in the 1990s when MCAA partnered with CNA Insurance. It is a fiercely competitive program in which only the best of the best compete for the awards.

Participants are required to describe their safety programs in detail, including how they achieved safety excellence and why they believe they deserve the award. The Safety Awards Selection Taskforce, which is led by CNA, carefully evaluates each submission looking for safety leadership, an advanced safety culture, effective leading indicators of safety performance, and innovative safety initiatives that helped the company achieve an exceptionally high degree of safety excellence.

MCAA and CNA congratulate P1 Group for earning such a high degree of safety excellence in 2019.

With HDPE Pipe and Victaulic Couplings, Shoemaker Mechanical Makes Light Work of Cooling Tower Replacement

By using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe rather than carbon steel and pairing it with Victaulic’s HDPE pipe joining system, Shoemaker Mechanical replaced a cooling tower in less time than planned, with fewer people than expected, and avoided potential weather delays. Tulsa Community College’s (TCC’s) system has performed with no issues since it was installed. Victaulic is an MCAA major sponsor.

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Looking for More Smart Solutions?

Visit the Smart Solutions Case Studies area of our website! You’ll see how other mechanical contractors found their win-win with productivity-enhancing and cost-saving applications from members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

Plus, you’ll find tips and ideas on other ways you and your company can save money and enhance your productivity.

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Protect Your Business from Risky Drivers

“Negligent entrustment” can stem from employees driving company-owned vehicles, their personal vehicles, or other vehicles on company business. Employers have a responsibility to know if an employee has something in his or her driving background that creates a risk to others. Negligent entrustment implies a company knew or should have known that it put an unsafe driver behind the wheel of a vehicle and allowed that employee to drive on behalf of the company. (CNA is an MCAA benefactor sponsor.)

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Looking for More Smart Solutions?

Visit the Smart Solutions Case Studies area of our website! You’ll see how other mechanical contractors found their win-win with productivity-enhancing and cost-saving applications from members of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council.

Plus, you’ll find tips and ideas on other ways you and your company can save money and enhance your productivity.

VISIT SMART SOLUTIONS

New Tailgate Safety Talks for Refrigerant Work

MCAA/MSCA is pleased to announce a new set of Tailgate Safety Talks on refrigerant safety. Recent changes to ASHRAE’s refrigerant Safety Group Classification System, along with toxicity and flammability characteristics associated with some of the newer refrigerants, prompted production of the new resource. There a total of five new Tailgate Safety Talks addressing:

  1. ASHRAE’s Refrigerant Safety Group Classification System
  2. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for Refrigerants
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Work with Refrigerants
  4. Protection from Refrigerant Toxicity & Flammability Hazards
  5. Some Common Symptoms of Overexposure to Refrigerants

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New Refrigerant Safety Training Resource

MCAA/MSCA is pleased to announce the release of a new refrigerant safety training resource for members. The resource, which includes a PowerPoint safety training presentation and accompanying notes for the instructors will help you bring your service technicians and other affected workers up to speed on the most current ASHRAE refrigerant designations and safety classifications, safety concerns for new and existing refrigerants, and appropriate protective measures. Trainees will learn about the potential hazards, the potential effects of the various refrigerants on the human body, ASHRAE’s refrigerant Safety Group Classification System, classifications of the new and existing refrigerants that are used most frequently in our industry, where and how to find safety information about the refrigerants they’re using, how to protect themselves from related toxicity, flammability, and physical hazards, common symptoms of overexposure, how to respond to the symptoms, proper refrigerant storage, and more.

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The Next Qualified Level Arc Flash Safety Training Webinars Scheduled for October 22, 2020

Make sure your service techs have the up-to-date safety training they need to protect themselves from arc flash and electrical shock hazards while working on equipment pushing 480 volts or less. The session covers all applicable OSHA requirements, NFPA 70E provisions, best practices, and real-world accident information.

VIEW BROCHURE

The next two webinars will be presented on October 22, 2020. The first webinar will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. EST, and the second is from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST.

REGISTER TODAY

Take advantage of the MCAA/MSCA member discounted webinar prices below.

PRICING:

# of Trainees (per company)Cost (per person)
1-5$200/person
6-10$175/person
11-25$150/person
26-50$125/person
51-100$ 100/person
101+Email for Pricing

If you can’t make it in October, the webinar will be taught again twice on November 19, 2020. Questions? Contact Pete Chaney.

3M™ PROTECTA® Rebel Self Retracting Lifelines – Pre-Use Inspections Required

A limited number of 3M™ PROTECTA® Rebel Self Retracting Lifelines produced between October 14, 2019 and February 25, 2020 may have a manufacturing issue. However, the issue can be easily detected through a pre-use inspection described in detail by 3M. If after carefully following 3M’s pre-use inspection instructions the SRLs are not working properly, take them out of service immediately, and contact the 3M customer service department at 1-800-328-61446 or by e-mail at 3musfpserviceaction@mmm.com.

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Fred Bothwell Shares Speer Mechanical’s Arc Flash Training Experiences

Arc flash can change a service tech’s life in the blink of an eye. Fred Bothwell, CHST, safety coordinator at Speer Mechanical, an MCAA member, uses personal experience to impress upon Speer techs the seriousness of arc flash situations.

“While working as warehouse manager for one of the nation’s largest tire companies back in the early 1990s, I had requested getting the roof-top unit checked out by our A/C company.  As the A/C guy was checking voltage, he lets out a yell.  Then he gathers himself, starts doing the same thing and lets out another yell.  It turns out that through perfect timing, at the same moment he touched the two leads to the unit, his beeper–on vibrate in his shirt pocket–was signaling him.  He thought he was getting shocked.  Later that year, when this same A/C guy was checking an industrial battery charger, he did get shocked for real.  We had to call the emergency squad.  He was okay, but it was a real ‘shock’ for all.”

About the Company

Speer Mechanical has a Construction division, a Special Projects group, and a Service department. The company does everything from demolition to installing units inside mechanical rooms and on rooftops.

For roof-top installations, Speer Mechanical uses Rough Terrain forklifts, cranes, and helicopters to place the units on the roofs.  The company’s Construction workers set the units in place and connect them to the building, and Service Techs connect the units to the power and provide ongoing service as needed.

The Advent of NFPA 70E Training

The company began holding NFPA 70E classes, purchasing Arc Flash suits, and preparing workers to follow the rules in 2006. They were one of the first companies in the Central Ohio area to do so, which comes as no surprise since Speer has one of the area’s largest service departments.

Fred shares, “The Arc Flash suits were really stiff, bulky, and had the ‘beekeeper’ hood.  You can bet everyone couldn’t wait to wear that outfit in our 90-degree humid Ohio weather.”  He adds, “We held about five Arc Flash classes to cover the entire Service department.” 

Later that year, Fred had the opportunity to present Speer’s NFPA 70E program to the UA local 189 union hall in Columbus, Ohio, where the company’s Service Techs are members.  He said, “It was a fairly new topic in the area, and I think some of the information was surprising to those who attended.  I reviewed cost, time spent, and what would be required in the future.  Some of those things have since changed somewhat, but the importance of the training has not.”

A Herculean Task

“Training, following, and observing some 70+ Service Techs is my challenge,” Fred said. He noted that the company’s service technicians work on equipment pushing 480 volts or less.  “Our work opportunities can occur at any time, at any jobsite, and on most any type of equipment,” he said. He added that “[A]ll Service Technicians are trained and tested to prove they know what they’re doing.  They take classes at the union hall and attend training sessions held at Speer.” Fred noted that some vendor companies want Speer workers to have specific knowledge of certain equipment, which can have inner workings that change over time.  He is pleased with their performance, saying, “Our Service Techs do a good job of working safely on all equipment and following the rules to continue being safe.”

Related MCAA Resources

MCAA offers resources to help member companies keep their workers safe when performing electrical work that falls within the purview of NFPA 70E.

New Arc Flash Suits, Training Make a Difference

In February 2020, we received new Arc Flash suits purchased from Enespro and the difference is astounding:  no more stiff, uncomfortable outfits, but more like putting on regular clothing.  As we continue to utilize the updates we all get from NFPA, the training we get from vendors and other outside sources, and the experiences we encounter on the job, we give ourselves the guidance and education necessary to be safe and successful. 

Fred sums up the experience, saying, “The times may change, but the need for safety is a constant element.  Not just safety first, but safety always.”